New Limits On Free Meals For Kids Concern Illinois School Officials

CHAMPAIGN – Some Illinois school officials are upset that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has not extended waivers that would allow districts to continue serving free meals to all students under 18 years of age.  In a typical school year, students must meet specific criteria to qualify for the USDA-operated National School Lunch Program. Families […]

Ask The Newsroom: SNAP Benefits For July And Beyond

Each month throughout the pandemic, Illinois Newsroom has received questions from listeners about whether maximum SNAP benefits will be issued. To find out more about how the program works and what SNAP recipients in Illinois can expect going forward, Illinois Newsroom reporter Dana Cronin spoke with Leslie Cully, who oversees the SNAP program for the […]

Amid Chaotic Dicamba Ruling, Some Say Farmers’ Herbicide Options Were Already Dwindling

A federal court in California recently vacated the three popular dicamba herbicides—Xtendimax, Fexipan, and Engenia—after the court determined the EPA violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by registering the chemicals for use. Environmental advocates rejoiced, while farm groups lamented the decision as yet another hurdle for farmers to overcome during a difficult […]

Illinois Joins Multi-State Lawsuit Over New Food Stamp Rules

CHICAGO — Illinois joined a multi-state lawsuit over proposed Trump administration rules on food stamps that could cause hundreds of thousands of Americans to lose benefits, Attorney General Kwame Raoul confirmed Thursday. The rule, expected to go into effect in April, limits states from exempting work-eligible adults from having to maintain steady employment in order […]

Hundreds Discuss Growing Hemp In Illinois

  Hundreds of farmers, processors, and researchers gathered at the Illinois state fairgrounds on Tuesday to talk about hemp. It’s been over a year since former Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner legalized growing hemp in the state. One year later… growers, processors, and government officials have learned a lot. The purpose of the summit in Springfield […]

USDA Fails To Monitor Foreign Owners Of Farmland

By Johnathan Hettinger/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting A law requiring foreign investors to report transactions of farmland to the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been on the books for almost 40 years. But as the amount of foreign-controlled farmland doubled in millions of acres between 2004 and 2014, the USDA has lapsed in enforcing the law, […]